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Holistic Bends: Forward, Backward, Balancing Acts by Dr. Navodita Pande

When it comes to Yoga, you ought to bend it like Navodita. She not only tells you some of the most effective holistic bends in yoga workouts but brings forth the benefits of the same. We bet you will definitely be doing these asanas after reading this article for good health and toned body!

Yoga workouts are very crucial for your body to stay healthy and fit. A perfect fitness routine must include the basics of twisting poses, backward-bending poses, forward-bending poses, balancing poses and inverted poses as each one has its own benefit. Here I give you a lowdown on some of those poses to get started so you can warm up and at the same time indulge in some good bends and stretches.

Ardha Matsyendra Asana

How to do:

  • Sit erect with your legs stretched out. Make sure that your feet are placed together and your spine is absolutely erect.
  • Now, bend your left leg such that the heel of the left foot lies next to the right hip. You could also keep the left leg stretched out if you like.
  • Then, place the right leg next to the left knee by taking it over the knee.
  • Twist your waist, neck, and shoulders towards the right, and set your gaze over your right shoulder. Make sure your spine is erect.
  • There are many ways you can place your arms to increase and decrease the stretch. But to do it simply, you can place the right hand behind you, and the left hand on the right knee.
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds, about 30 to 60 as you breathe slowly, yet deeply.
  • Exhale and release the right hand, and then the waist, chest, and finally the neck. Relax as you sit straight.
  • Repeat the steps on the other side, and then exhale and come back to the front.

Benefits of the Asana:

  • This asana makes the spine more flexible. It tones the spinal nerves and improves the way the spinal cord functions.
  • This asana helps to stretch the muscles on one side of the body while compressing the muscles on the other side.
  • This asana helps relieve stiffness and back pain from between the vertebrae.
  • This asana helps to cure a slipped disc.

Ek Pada Viparitadanda Asana

How to do:

  • Lie flat on your back. Bring your feet up toward your buttocks, placing them flat on the floor about hip width apart and parallel to each other.
  • Place your hands beside your ears, palms down, with your fingers pointing toward your feet, and draw your elbows in toward each other.
  • On an exhalation, press down through your hands and feet and lift your pelvis, torso, and head high enough so you can come onto the crown of your head. Take a breath here.
  • On your next exhalation, press firmly down through your arms and legs and lift your torso into a full backbend. Push strongly through your hands to straighten your arms completely; also ground strongly through your feet, especially through the heels, and gently lift your tailbone and draw it toward your knees. Hold for five to 10 breaths.
  • Lift one leg up and then after a few seconds the second leg.

Benefits of the Asana:

  • It improves flexibility and any practitioner will have guaranteed flexibility of the body.
  • It gives mobility to the spine and opening of the chest and also stimulates the adrenal, thyroid, pituitary and pineal glands.
  • It strengthens shoulder muscles.
  • It reduces abdominal fat.
  • It is a remedy for depression and helps in building emotional stability and also boosts up your self-confidence.

Karnapida Asana

How to do:

  • First lie down on the floor on your back in resting position, and your arms should be placed in resting pose at the sides.
  • Now raise your legs in the air and try to exhale.
  • Try to keep your legs erect in the air. (Ardha halasana position, your legs should be straight at 90 degree in the air).
  • Now try to place your legs over your head. (Full halasana pose).
  • Now try to lift up your butts and try to bend your legs over the head. (Bend or press your knee into the floor by your upper arms just near to ear., and try to press and place them just near to ear).
  • Your arms should be parallel to our body.
  • For supporting your hips try to lift up your hands and keep them under your lower back.
  • Try to grab your bent knees together.

Benefits of the Asana:

  • It stretches and strengthens your back bone.
  • It gives strength to the lungs and is beneficial for asthma patients.
  • It stimulates the abdominal organs, and thyroid gland.
  • It stretches the shoulders and spine.
  • It controls hypertension.
  • It reduces the symptoms of menopause.

Tittibha Asana

How to do:

  • Come into a standing forward fold with your feet shoulder-distance apart.
  • Bend your knees deeply, and grab hold of your calves to snuggle one shoulder, and then the other, behind your knees. Your shoulders will round forward, but keep pushing them back against the thighs.
  • Place your hands flat on the mat (or on your blocks) behind your feet. Root into the floor with the bases of your index fingers, and continue to do this throughout the pose.
  • Bend your knees to sink your hips down, and simultaneously bend your elbows so that they point straight back.
  • Scoot your feet in toward each other until they almost touch.
  • Draw your belly in to round your back and press your hands into the floor to straighten your arms more (your elbows will remain slightly bent as your upper arms continue to do the work of pressing into the thighs).
  • Keep squeezing your thighs in as you uncross your ankles and straighten your legs, reaching them forward and out to the sides in a “v,” parallel to the earth.

Benefits of the Asana:

  • It is an exhilarating arm balance that strengthens the core, legs, and arms.
  • It also stretches the hamstrings and inner thighs.
  • It requires a high degree of wrist flexion and hamstring openness.
  • It is not recommended if your wrists, elbows, shoulders, or lower back are injured or sensitive.

Thus we see that it is very crucial to perform the balancing act- do a forward bend, backward bend, standing, inverted and a balancing pose so that the body can bend holistically and in complete harmony. Practise these and get started on a perfect routine for the day!

About The Author

Dr. Navodita Pande

Navodita Pande is a journalist and has also authored books on TV journalism and Yoga. She has been doing Yoga since the age of nine. She taught Yoga at the age of fifteen to you.... Read More..

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